Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Technology besmirched

Last Sunday, my fiancé Matt and I went to The Bay to update our bridal registry. Now before you leave me for another website, or start thinking, "why do I care?" there is a point to this entry: technology cannot replace good communication.

During a fall bridal show in Toronto, we initially set up our registry with The Bay. It was explained that we should add a few things to our list at the show and could come in to a Bay store and update it regularly. Simple enough, yes? On Sunday we arrived for our appointment, met with an associate and she discussed the full details of the bridal registry. It all sounded fine and we were happy with now smoothly things were moving. The associate provided us with a scanner and we felt like official inventory jockeys as we were set free in the store to scan our hearts out.

Here's where things get tricky...
A copy of our list (from the bridal show) was printed off and we decided to recheck all of the items since so much time had passed. After going through over two pages of items, we decided to cross off everything except for one glass bowel. After an hour and a half of our scanning adventure, we were ready to turn in our machine and go home. A different associate received our information and we tried to explain that our old list (from the bridal show) was no longer valid (only wanting one item from it) and that everything ON THAT LIST should be deleted. We made reference to our new list that was on the scanner as items we wanted to keep. With these explanations, we felt the appointment went well.

Yesterday, I went online to check on the registry. Because it would take a day or so for the list to update and go online, I thought I'd take a peek. Guess what? As it stands, for our wedding on July 7, 2007 our 150-200 attendees can fight over who is giving us 1 DIAMOND FIRE PLATTER 14" by MIKASA. Remember that ONE item we kept from the old list...

After speaking with a manager to find out why our list was so bare, I soon discovered that communication and information sharing is very important when technology is involved. The scanner that we used is actually a virtual device that scans in real-time and instantly adds items into the main database where our registry is stored. Therefore, when we told the associate we wanted to delete "everything from our old list expect this one item," we deleted much more than what we intended. As of yesterday, all items on the scanner were lost and deleted along with everything previously scanned last fall.

Perhaps both Matt and I assumed too much. Having both worked in retail while in post-secondary schools, a lot of price file and inventory verification devices we used were not in real-time and required you to download your information or at least "sync" it up with a computer so that numbers were crunched and inventory details created.

Yesterday afternoon, I was very distressed by the situation. We had wasted two hours of our busy weekend AND we found ourselves trying to figure out how quickly we could go and rescan everything ASAP. Matt's aunt is having an engagement party for us next month, and she suggested we try to finalize our list at The Bay so that any family or friends attending the festivities could possibly purchase something on the list. This makes a lot of sense and hence our sense of urgency to update our registry with items we do wish to receive (I'd rather not have people guess and then we end up with a couple dozen corning ware dishes!).

I did appreciate the customer service I received from the manager in gift registry. After following up with her own investigation, she discovered that the associate who accepted our updated list was suppose to ensure a printed copy was made before deletions and other updates went through. This clearly did not happen. If that had happened, our desired items could have been entered manually to the registry and avoid us coming in again to rescan items. She also apologized for the omitted details about the scanner and how the registry exists in a real-time realm. She then offered me a gift card to compensate our lost time and offered to have us come in either before or after regular hours if either would suit our schedules. For one guilty moment, I enjoyed the thought of going in after hours so that someone would have to work late... but why make someone suffer for a fluke situation? I'd rather just move on and maintain good relations.

I'm not a Bridezilla, I'm just a twenty-something young woman who's used to technology working in her favour and making her life easier. How naïve.

"Some go to where the buildings reach to meet the clouds"

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